I have several questions so I hope you guys can help. My grandfather passed in October and has a trust set up with his current wife. The wife is not the mother of my dad nor any of the kids. Now since he died she has stated that she changed the trust and added her own kids. Before he died there was land that was to be deeded to each of the kids but is included in the trust. Can a trust be altered once on party has passed? Is a trust ever made public record? How can I protect what is left of the estate before this women sells it all and runs with the money.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You can certainly challenge her administration of the trust. Her job as trustee is to make sure that payouts reflect what your father wanted. She does NOT have the right to change the beneficiary list.
Take care of this now, or there may not be anything left to fight over. And, whatever funds have been dispersed need to be returned to the trust. There SHOULD have been a replacement trustee provision. If not, she can be held persoanlly liable, but this does you no good unless you catch it in time.
Get a local trust attorney IMMEDIATELY and get this sorted out. You might be able to mediate it, but the first step is to stop the improper diversion.
You should consult with an attorney ASAP. It is crucial that the trust document(s) be reviewed before anyone can give you reliable advice.
Depending on the wording, the trust may be changed.
A trust is not normally made a public record, unless there is a need to do so, e.g., in connection with a transfer of property or litigation.
You must contact an attorney in the State where the trust was written for assistance immediately. Without the reading the trust itself there is no way to know what can be done.
The answers will be based upon who is the trustee of the estate, how was the trust set up, is the trust revocable or irrevocable. What powers for distribution and alterations have been granted?
What I can tell you is if you are worried that what is suppose to be yours and your families is being taken from you, you need to get an attorney as soon as possible.
Good Luck, and please email me if I can be of any further assistance.